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Friday, May 27, 2011

Frugal Living: Make Your Own Yogurt!


A small container of quality yogurt is around $1 in most grocery stores. Yes, it is easy to just walk into the store, pick up a few containers and toss them in your cart. But, did you know that you can make your own yogurt easily and very inexpensively? You can go out and buy a fancy yogurt maker if you like, but a good one runs about $50. If the purpose of making your own yogurt is to save money, spending $50 on a yogurt maker does not make much sense. You can use any large pan and a few other supplies you probably have at home instead.

To make your own all-natural yogurt, get all the following together:

-one half gallon milk (full-fat works best)
-2 to 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt with active cultures (as a starter)
-heating pad
-cutting board
-dish towel
-large pot
-small pot with lid
-plastic or metal spoon
-candy thermometer
-containers with lids (to store your newly made yogurt)

Step One
Bring your milk and yogurt to room temperature.

Step Two
Create a Water Jacket
Place the larger pot in the sink, then place the smaller pot inside of it. Fill the larger pot with water until the smaller pot is half covered. If you have a double-boiler, you may use it in place of the small and large pots.

Step Three
You need to sterilize the spoon, thermometer, the pots and the lid. Place the thermometer, the lid and the spoon inside the larger pot. Place the smaller pot upside-down on the larger pot. Boil the water. Once your equipment is sterilized, be careful not to contaminate it. Use tongs to remove items from the boiling water and place them on a clean paper towel.

Step Four
Add the Milk
Place the smaller pot into the larger pot, which should now contain your boiling water. Pour the milk into the smaller pot. Place your thermometer into the smaller pot.

Step Five
Heat the Milk
It is important to heat the milk to 185 degrees. Stir the milk frequently, using your sterilized spoon. Keep the milk at 185 degrees for thirty minutes.

Step Six
Cool the Milk
Fill your sink about 1/4 of the way with cold water and ice. Place the small pot with milk in the sink. Bring the temperature of the milk down to 110 degrees. Be sure to stir the milk while it is cooling.

Step Seven
Add your Starter
Pour your yogurt starter into the cooled milk. Be sure to use plain yogurt with active cultures. Stir the milk and yogurt mixture thoroughly.

Step Eight
Warm the Mixture
Place the lid on the small pot. Set your heating pad to medium and place it flat on the cutting board. Place your pot of milk/yogurt mixture on top of the heating pad. Cover the pot completely with a towel.

Step Nine
Now you wait for seven hours. Seven hours seems to be a magic number. The longer the milk/yogurt mixture sits on the heating pad, the thicker and tangier it becomes.

Step Ten
Be Wowed
Remove the pot from the heating pad, lift the lid and look at what you have created. Its yogurt! You may see a greenish liquid and smell an odd, cheesy odor. You will also see lumps. These lumps are called curds.

Step Eleven
Stir the yogurt until it is well blended. You want to stir it well to incorporate the curds into any remaining liquid.

Step Twelve
Pour and Store
Pour your newly made yogurt into a clean container or containers. You can use any container that has a tight fitting lid. Place the yogurt in the coldest part of your refrigerator. The back of the refrigerator is usually the coldest. Let the yogurt chill overnight.

Now that the yogurt has chilled overnight, it should be thick and ready to eat. Remember, you added no sugar when making it, so you may want to add fruit, granola, honey or jam to your yogurt to sweeten it before you enjoy that first taste. Your homemade yogurt should be good for two to three weeks if left refrigerated.

Post submitted by Melissa (connorsmom) from

1 comment :

  1. Great post! I love making our yogurt. We make one with coconut milk for my son too, since he can't have protein. SOoooo good!


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